Japan has reopened to visa-free travel from dozens of countries worldwide as of Tuesday, October 11. This move eliminates the country’s daily entry cap on tourist arrivals and makes it easier for visitors to plan their own getaway to Japan without a qualified booking through an approved travel agency or tour operator.
After two-plus years of implementing some of the strictest COVID-related border policies in the world, travelers to the Asian destination can now visit without cumbersome quarantine or testing requirements.
Nonetheless, there are still some important things travelers will want to know before they go, including the requirement that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure upon entry.
Remember that proof of full inoculation against the virus requires a (third) booster shot. Otherwise, only those displaying COVID symptoms will be subject to testing and or quarantine at entry.
The visa exemption allows smooth travel for passport holders from 68 countries, including the U.S., Canada, and many throughout Europe.
Japan Inviting Travelers Back to Visit
While the country’s flag carrier Japan Airlines has seen inbound bookings triple since the announcement that Japan would relax entry restrictions last month—according to Reuters—the Japanese government is being proactive in luring visitors back by starting a domestic travel initiative featuring discounts on transportation and accommodations.
In light of Japan’s restrictions on visitors from abroad, travelers planning to visit Japan this fall and in the coming months should anticipate staffing shortages throughout various travel and tourism sectors.
Reuters reports that roughly half of the 260 shops and restaurants within Narita Airport outside of Tokyo remain closed while nearly 73 percent of hotels across the country believe they are short of regular workers as of August.
The State Department’s latest travel advisor recommends that Americans reconsider travel to Japan due to pandemic-related entry restrictions but that Level 3 notification will likely change in the wake of Tuesday’s reopening.
For the latest, however, U.S. travelers can visit the official website of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Japan and be sure to book their visit through a trusted travel advisor.
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